Youngjae You, Ph.D.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an emerging tool for treating cancers that is selective and causes minimum side effects compared to current standard treatment options such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. In PDT, the damage on tumor occurs from the combination of a small molecule (photosensitizer, PS), oxygen, and the light of near IR range (650-800 nm). We are interested in developing new PSs which overcome problems of current photosensitizers. The first goal is to develop new photosensitizers absorbing long-weave length (>750 nm) with high extinction coefficient. The second goal is to achieve higher selectivity toward cancer cells/tumor tissue over surrounding normal cells/tissues. To this end, unique characteristics of cancer cells/tumor tissue are taken advantage for our goal. Currently, mitochondria-targeted photosensitizers are under development.
Side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs are not just additional burdens to cancer patients but real problems during the treatments. Selectivity toward cancer cells of drugs is an important issue. Various drug delivery strategies employing nano-technologies (liposomes, polymers, quantum dots, dendrimers, and etc.) have been developed and innovative targeting methods are established for passive and active targeting. Another key factor for successful site-specific drug delivery is how to control the release of drug from such delivery vehicles. Current strategies using enzyme, pH, or chemicals are either physiological condition dependents or not biocompatible. We are developing a new strategy for controlling drug-release with light.
Education & Experience
Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry
Chungnam National University, Taejon, Korea2001
M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry
Chungnam National University, Taejon, Korea1997
B.S. in Pharmacy
Chungnam National Univedrsity, Taejon, Korea1994
Honors & Awards
IDeA Award, Breast Cancer Research Program
Research/Scholarship Support Award